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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2014  /  February 2014  /  Pehr Kalm’s London Diary

Pehr Kalm’s London Diary

Publication of Bill Mead’s latest book

Pehr Kalm’s London Diary

At the age of 98, Professor Emeritus Bill Mead* has produced a new book.

Entitled Pehr Kalm – his London diary, 1748, it provides Bill’s own translation of the original manuscript by Kalm (1716-1779), who was the favourite disciple of the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus.

In 1748 Kalm was sent on a botanical mission to North America, spending five months in England on the way, three in London and its surroundings, especially examining agricultural practices.

In addition to the translation, Bill sets Kalm’s diary in its mid-eighteenth-century context. An epilogue also considers some of the consequences for his native Finland of Kalm’s visit to England and the time he then spent in colonial North America.

The new book is a companion to Bill’s earlier volume, Pehr Kalm, a Finnish Visitor to the Chilterns in 1748 (2003).

* Bill joined the academic staff of UCL in 1949 and was head of the Department of Geography from 1966 until he formally retired in 1981. His main research specialisms was the human geography of Finland, and of Scandinavia more generally.  Bill died in July 2014 in his 99th year.



Pehr Kalm – his London diary, 1748